Pramatha Nath Taluqdar v. Saroj Ranjan Sarkar1 

“An order of dismissal under s.203, Criminal Procedure Code, is, however, no bar to the entertainment of a second complaint on the same facts but it will be entertained only in exceptional circumstances, e.g., where the previous order was passed on an incomplete record or on a misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint or it was manifestly absurd, unjust or foolish or where new facts which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been brought on the record in the previous proceedings have been adduced. It cannot be said to be in the interests of justice that after a decision has been given against the complainant upon a full consideration of his case, he or any other person should be given another opportunity to have his complaint enquired into- Ram Narain Chaubey v. Panachand Jain2 , Hansabai v. Ananda3Doraisami v. Subramania4. In regard to the adducing of new facts for the bringing of a fesh complaint the Special Bench in the judgment under appeal did not accept the view of the Bombay High Court or the Patna High Court in cases above quoted an adopted the opinion of Macleam, C.J. in Queen Empress v. Dolegobinda Das5  affirmed by a full Bench in Dwarka Nath Mandal v. Benimadhab Banerji. It held therefore that a fresh complaint can be entertained where there is manifest error, or manifest miscarriage of justice in the previous order or when fresh evidence is forthcoming.”

In Kumariah v. Chinna Naicker6 , it was held that the fact that a previous complaint had been dismissed under s. 203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was no bar to the entertainment of a second complaint. In Hansabai Sayaji v. Ananda Ganuji7  the question was examined with reference to a large number of earlier decisions of several High Courts on the subject and it was held that there was nothing in law against the entertainment of a second complaint on the same facts. The same view was also expressed in Ram Narain v. Panachand Jain8  and Ramanand v. Sheri9 . In all these decisions it was recognized further that though there was nothing in law to bar the entertainment of a second complaint on the same facts, exceptional circumstances must exist for entertainment of a second complaint when on the same allegations a previous complaint had been dismissedI accept the view expressed by the High Courts that there is nothing in law which prohibits the entertainment of a second complaint on the same allegations when a previous complaint had been dismissed under s.203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. I also accept the view that as a rule of necessary caution and of proper exercise of the discretion given to a Magistrate under s.204(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, exceptional circumstances must exist for the entertainment of a second complaint on the same allegations; in other words, there must be good reasons why the Magistrate thinks that there is “sufficient ground for proceeding” with the second complaint, when a previous complaint on the same allegations was dismissed under s.203 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.”

In re Koyassan Kutty10

It will be noticed that in the test thus laid down the exceptional circumstances are brought under three categories; (1) manifest error, (2) manifest miscarriage of justice, and (3) new facts which the complainant had no knowledge of or could not with reasonable diligence have brought forward in the previous proceedings. Any exceptional circumstances coming within any one or more of the aforesaid three categories would fulfil the test

In Ram Narain v. Panachand Jain11 it was observed that an exhaustive list of the exceptional circumstances could not be given though some of the categories were mentioned. One new category mentioned was where the previous order of dismissal was passed on an incomplete record or a misunderstanding of the nature of the complaint. This new category would perhaps fall with the category of manifest error or miscarriage of justice.

Mahesh Chand vs B. Janardhan Reddy & Anr12

It is settled law that there is no statutory bar in filing a second complaint on the same facts. In a case where a previous complaint is dismissed without assigning any reasons, the Magistrate under Sec. 204 Cr.P.C. may take cognizance of an offence and issue process if there is sufficient ground for proceeding. As held in Pramatha Nath Taluqdar‘s case second complaint could be dismissed after a decision has been given against the complainant in previous matter upon a full consideration of his case. Further, second complaint on the same facts could be entertained only in exceptional circumstances, namely, where the previous order was passed on an incomplete record or on a misunderstanding of the nature of complaint or it was manifestly absurd, unjust or where new facts which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been brought on record in the previous proceedings, have been adduced. In the facts and circumstances of this case, the matter, therefore, should have been remitted back to the learned Magistrate for the purpose of arriving at a finding as to whether any case for cognizance of the alleged offence had been made out or not.


  1. [(1962) Supp.2 SC R 297.
  2. 1949 CriLJ 524.
  3. (1949) 51 BOMLR 585.
  4. (1917) 33 MLJ 699.
  5. (1900) ILR 27 Cal 295.
  6. (1945) 2 MLJ 577.
  7. supra, at 3..
  8. 1949 CriLJ 524.
  9. AIR 1934 All 87.
  10. AIR 1918 Mad 494.
  11. supra, at 2.
  12. AIR 2003 SC 702..

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